Monday, July 28, 2014

The A-Team || A-line Skirt and Black Crossover Crop Top



Trust me, my recent love of crop tops is just as puzzling to me as it is to you. In high school, I was so against crop tops that I was kicked off the tennis A-team for a week because I refused to put on the uniform for games (the short top and micro shorts were way more entertaining to the guys than my actual game moves). I was eventually asked to rejoin the team and allowed to wear a different outfit, but with an experience like that, you'd think I'd hate the short top trend. Turns out, when it's triple digits outside, a crop top is all that I turn to---and it doesn't hurt that it pairs so well with skirts of all shapes and prints.

Crop top: American Eagle, exact same one here at Arden B ($26)
Skirt: Forever 21 (on sale for $16 for a limited time)
Bag: Ross, similar geometric bag here
Shoes: Dolce Vita
Cuff: Forever 21, similar here ($11)
Earrings: Forever 21

Friday, July 25, 2014

Last Night || Graphic Tee and Camo Shorts


"Last Night A Blogger Saved My Life" shirt (no longer available)


Sandals: Chinese Laundry. Also from Chinese Laundry, here is a similar style ($15)


Headband: F21, similar here ($7.99) // Earrings: rue21, similar here from Marc Jacobs


Bag: F21, similar here from PepaLoves ($44)


It's always interesting to see how new visitors discover my blog. For instance, a glance at my Google Analytics the other day revealed a very insecure boyfriend had been reading my posts:



This particular visitor was probably reading my post "Why Do Girls Wear So Much Makeup?" Why, Does It Threaten You?" Hopefully he was educated on how women don't necessarily wear make up for men, but for ourselves (shocker!).

Another instance of strange visits: for a few weeks last year, my blog post "Last Night A Blogger Saved My Life" became inexplicably popular overnight. It turns out that the t-shirt I was wearing in that post---and in today's post---was featured on a celebrity and instantly became an "it" item in Spain. It just goes to show you---sometimes you have no idea or prediction of what blog post will become popular or what trend will take off unexpectedly.

Now I want to know: how did you discover my blog? The wackiest (or the most different) story will get a shout-out next week!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hippie || Bell Sleeves and Rose Headband


Bag: BDG (old), similar here from Sole Society  // Sandals: Dolce Vita ($40) // Shorts: JCP ($20)


Rings: rue21, similar here from Torrid ($10) // Nail polish: Revlon's "Raspberry Rapture" (smells like strawberry)


Headband: F21, similar here with white roses or here with dark pink roses ($5) // Blouse: JCP (old), similar options below:



When I was in high school, someone told me that it would boost my recall on tests if I sniffed something while studying, and then smelled the same scent during a test. While some of my peers tried this trick with gum (chewing the same flavor during study time and during test time actually helped some of them), I preferred the "nail polish" method---applying my favorite scented nail polishes before studying and wearing them up until test day. One of my favorite smelly polishes is the "Raspberry Rapture" one I'm wearing in these pictures. Despite the name, I swear the polish smells like strawberries. So, did the nail polish trick work? I'm not sure. Did I look crazy smelling my fingers every few test questions? I bet.

Monday, July 21, 2014

He's the Reason for the Teardrops on the Back of My Dress

Ladylike beach outfit: Navy and turquoise dress and white espadrilles
Turquoise arrow necklace

Bralette: Walmart, similar here from Aerie ($15) // Top Necklace: F21 ($6.80) // Arrow necklace: Charlotte Russe, similar here ($12)

Teardrop Cut-Out Dress---love the back!

Dress: Urban Outfitters (old) // Bag: similar here

ASOS Jamaica Lace-up Espadrilles


Lace-up espadrilles: ASOS (on sale for $21)

Navy and turquoise beach outfit: striped tote and arrow necklace


I tend to stay away from over-sharing my personal life on the blog, because it's an outfit blog, but sometimes my fashion and personal life converge. I went through a breakup a couple of weeks ago, and I thought I was fine until I did a closet purge and realized how many of his items that I still had left over. Needless to say, the closet purge took a lot more time and effort than I had planned... The good news is that I found some old dresses hidden away, forgotten gems that finally get to see the light of day. Now, the only thing to do is to open everything up and wait for it to be cleaned out and eventually heal. We're still talking about the closet, right?

Still hopeful, Brittney

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Vampire Bent on Revenge: Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Fall 2014 Review

Back when Lady Gaga was Lady Gaga and not some rave dancer on molly, she would probably have fallen head over heels in love with Jean Paul Gaultier's dark haute couture collection for Fall 2014 (see Gaga's Judas music video and McQueen armadillo heels). Gaultier claimed that he was inspired by vampires and ghosts, sending out a themed collection that reminded me of Cher the singer, Elvira, and Morticia Addams.

Seriously, Lady Gaga, what is this? Leave the pastels to Katy Perry {Picture source}

Because the point of couture is to inspire fantasies made of silk and sequins, I can only describe Gaultier's collection as the story of a seductive female vampire, wronged by a man, who has plotted a slow and terrible vengeance...


Our story begins on a rainy afternoon near the outskirts of Remington, a small village accessible only by a train station. Officer Barnaby is standing at the doorsteps of a large mansion largely obscured by twisting vines. The vines are so mesmerizing that Barnaby briefly forgets to ring the doorbell, entranced as he is by how the serpentine plants curl around the porch and disappear into the windows of the basement. Below the house in the distance, the small town and vicar's house can be seen in the haze.

The door opens. A tall, tall woman stands there, her face so white against the dark hues of her clothes that she seems like a ghost. Her hair is grayish purple, indicating her seniority, but Barnaby did not need to look at her hair to distinguish her age---the shoulder pads and mutton-leg sleeves of her coat revealed to Barnaby that she has not updated her clothing in a few decades. "Ah," the tall woman says, and although her eyes are bloodshot, she looks almost excited to see the young police officer.



"I hope I won't be any trouble," Barnaby starts to say, but the older woman just twists her face into a smile. "Oh, that won't be necessary," she says, "you've come to ask where they went? Well, come in, I will tell you everything, but you might not like what you hear..."


"It was before the war," the old woman says. Barnaby has been forced into a large armchair (very uncomfortable) and handed a tin of biscuits which, judging by the smell, had expired sometime before he had been born. "I met him before the war."

"Excuse me?" Barnaby says. The smell from the biscuit tin is appalling, almost as bad as the perfume emanating from the vials on a nearby glass tray. "I'm here to ask about a fellow officer---."

"It was at a funeral," the woman said, cutting him off. She was pacing around the fireplace, which was made entirely out of a dark, shiny glass. Despite the feeble light barely penetrating through the heavy drapes, her pale features are glistening in the dimness. "It was, the funeral of a small girl named Debbie Banks...

"I was wearing all-black, of course. I liked funerals for that reason. I liked to see how giddy humans could get, crying over a lump of flesh in the ground. It amused me how the dead were praised so reverently once in the casket---as if they could hear what was being said about them. 


"He was there. He could not stop staring at me. I hovered near the back of the crowd, taking in the smells of the tears and the dirt. I would later learn his name was John, and he was the 5th son of the vicar, a precocious boy with a knack for investigation and justice. John was slated to join the village police force upon his graduation from university---he was so young. And so innocent...a human boy..."

"I'm sorry," Barnaby said, confused and irritated, "could I just set these biscuits down---?" But Barnaby jerked his hand back when he realized the footstool he had been resting on was something alive. As if on cue, the footstool creature scampered off and disappeared behind the stairs.

"I wouldn't touch that if I were you," the woman said in a singsong voice, "now where was I...

"Oh yes. Debbie Banks, the poor dead girl, had gone on in a particularly gruesome way, I learned from John. Mutilated and left for dead in the bogs. John was absolutely hell-bent on finding her killer; I took it upon myself to distract him from this silly hobby. But of course, he was quite stubborn, taking me on the excursions into the rainy bog to uncover what evidence we could. I hated the muck---no, not because I was some dainty girl that hated getting messy, but because the swamp deadened my sense of smell and made it so hard to hunt..."


"Meanwhile, John was falling absolutely in love with me. Despite the fact that I was centuries older than him---

"Wait, did you say centuries?" Barnaby startled himself when he spoke. The darkness of the room threatened to plunge him into a stupor, and his grip on the biscuits faltered.

"---well I only looked about 10 years older at that point, but he never minded," the woman said, turning away from the fireplace. "The only thing we fought about was my unwillingness to attend Mass---he was as religious as they make them---as if I would set foot anywhere near a cross. I also think I angered him with my wardrobe choices; they were a bit sacrilegious, if I do think about it...but not that he minded when I took those clothes off..."


"You should've seen what I wore for Christmas morning...he never made it to Mass that day...It's safe to say that even the most devout humans can be corrupted easily..."


The woman's voice petered out and Barnaby inhaled reluctantly, feeling the musty air forcing its way into his nostrils. "Excuse me, ma'am," he said, his voice tinny in the darkness, "but I'm not very interested in John or Debbie, I'm here to ask about Inspector Wittle---."

"Then we found him." The woman did not turn to look at Barnaby, and her eyes were focused on a faraway point. "The murderer. Debbie's murderer. It was after Christmas, and the manhunt had been going on for nearly two months. He had escaped into the bogs for as long as he could, but the snow and freezing cold finally did him in, and late at night, John's stakeout yielded a long figure digging into the side of the Warner's barn, struggling to find a hiding spot under the hay. John was ever so excited---he ran off immediately for the constable, while I was left to look after this pitiful man, barefoot and frostbitten, who was so tired from the chase that he could barely move...I thought he was more dead than alive at this point, and I, I took it upon myself to give him mercy."



"Mercy?" Barnaby was surprised at how hard it was to force the words out of his mouth. He felt as though he had been gagged.

"I drained him quickly. I had not eaten for so long, and the blood, although stale, was welcome...his eyes were closed the whole time, as though he welcomed the end."

"Are you saying---?" Barnaby said, and struggled to sit up. "You---!"

"Shush," the woman said, and Barnaby felt his body fall back into the vice of the chair. "John witnessed the whole thing, unfortunately. And when I finally realized he was there, and turned my blood-stained face upon him, all I saw on his features was disgust....humiliation...he hated me in that moment. He said one word: "Vampire." I became just another monster he longed to bring to justice. All our history fell away, and he only saw me as a piece of filth that his sanctimonious mind sought to remove from the earth."

Barnaby was certain the chair was sucking him backwards, because the woman's face was dancing out of view. He tried his best to move his mouth and speak. "You...vampire?"

"As if he was an angel himself!" The woman spat out her words and Barnaby noticed her hands had curled into vicious-looking claws. "As if humans are not the most hypocritical creatures that ever lived---putting on a falsity of devoutness only to take advantage of and descend into depravity at the merest opportunity! I could not stand that look he gave me; I knew I would never be able to face him again. So I did what I had to, to erase the moment forever. I ate him."

Barnaby, struggling to maintain his grip on consciousness, focused on the last sentence. "You ate him! Your John! Wait, what am I even saying, did you just admit to eating---?"

"Yes," the woman said, and her voice seemed to come from far away. "I did. After that, there was nothing stopping me...John was dead, and even though I know it's not possible, so was I. In a way. Ironically, I tried my best after that to become as human as possible, by indulging my lusts and appetite voraciously. There was no use hiding the bloodlust anymore, even if each feeding only brought me momentary satisfaction replaced by deep melancholy.



"Even now, I forget all the men that I seduced in that time. They were just faces, pretty faces, soon to be devoured and forgotten. I moved many times, throwing the police off my trail. But then, I realized that I had become that madman who killed Debbie Banks: someone being worn down, who was afraid to die but also tired of living. I did not want to run anymore. Even the seduction had worn thin."


The woman leaned in closer and Barnaby's vision began to swim. He realized he was still clutching the biscuit tin, but he could no longer move his fingers or legs. "And you know what I learned also?" the woman said. "I learned that humans are as predictable as they are hypocritical, that they are as determined as they are stupid. John's love of justice is shared by many of you, and so is his impetuousness. So I stopped running. I returned here, to this lovely home, and I waited. Inspector after inspector arrived, with enough evidence to convict me in every precinct in the world, but it did not matter. They would also mysteriously disappear, and a new one would rise to take their place...only to repeat the same mistakes. It is truly a glorious flaw of the human race, but one that feeds me...literally."

Barnaby gasped, drawing in the musky scent that threatened envelope him in a haze forever. "No," he said, but his voice barely made a sound. 

"You want to know what happened to Inspector Wittle?" the woman asked, leaning back with a smug grin. "The same thing that will happen to you, and many others after you. You have found your monster, the evil in the night, Officer---too bad that the knowledge will never escape your lips."

And before Officer Barnaby blacked out, he saw what Inspector Wittle must have seen for one brief, glorious moment: a beautiful, ageless woman, with hair glowing, lips red as blood. Although his ears seems to have been plugged up and rendered useless, he thought he heard someone say: "Now if only someone will give me mercy." Then her black gown fell away, and suddenly, all was dark---.


Takeaway:


I love a designer who can take a theme and run with it, and Gaultier certainly lived up to his inspiration colors "blood red, virginal white, black Sabbath, the silver of a knife, and the gold of religion.” Despite the traditional silhouettes and the historical influences from Catholicism and the Gothic, the modeling choices (including bearded drag queen and Eurovision singer, Conchita as well as elderly women) reveals the progressiveness of the show as a whole. I can imagine women of all ages enjoying pieces form the collection---yes, even undead vampire women who have lived a thousand eons.

All images from The Cut.